Tag Archives: design

Working On: Business Cards

I’ve been working hard on business cards for what feels like forever, and I’m aiming for three different business card designs:
1. Double-sided design to give to people in person for impressions
(this might end up being a one-sided design with an open space on the back for comments about our meeting, like ‘Thanks for the coffee! Call me!’)
2. One-sided awesome design to leave places and give to people that are awesome/close friends/know me already
(something bold and exciting that doesn’t have to match all the other boring ‘branded stuff’)
3. One more simple design for super professional settings and to go in the folder of my press kit
(that matches my resume well, and just looks polished)

Why do I want to do so many different cards? Because I like to have options, and I think it’s important to be prepared. Having a variety of cards lends itself well to different situations and different meetings with people of various backgrounds (small firms, more out-there firms, large corporations, you get the picture).

Here are my three different card ideas so far (please pardon my tardiness because I’ve come down with an awful cold this week):

1.) a two-sided card

Note that these are all still works in progress, because I haven’t really experimented with typefaces too much yet (at least not much on the card pictured above).

2.) the one-sided card

I like the design of this card a lot, but it doesn’t really match anything else. I think that’s okay. Maybe? I think it would be fun to print it with a reversed copy on the back, so it sort of shows you that it’s one-sided, instead of just being blank on the back. There’s still some fine-tuning that needs to be done with the information text so that it’s a little more readable, but I really do like this design. (This design is like my baby, I really like it ever so much, but I think that more traditional designers would say that if I like it so much, I should let it go.)

3.) simple

This is the one that would be tucked into a press-kit folder, and therefore doesn’t have a back to show people. It’s a little shy, I suppose. It also might need some extra information about me, but then it feels too cluttered. We’ll see.

In class the other day we were discussing that business cards might become obsolete with the use of smart phones and QR codes (those pixelated squares that you can scan and information pops up). I don’t believe that we’ll truly become separated from our analog, physical objects for a long time, if ever. I just don’t think enough people will own and use smart phones to make QR codes the standard, and to forget business cards altogether. What do you think?

♥eth

Ps. The top photo is from Brand New, a website that showcases re-branding of major companies, and shows the re-branding and new logo of Time Warner Cable. I enjoy browsing through their posts to see how companies try to keep themselves ‘modern’; always interesting to read the comments, too (which usually come from fellow designers).

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Typography

We briefly talked about typography (you know, words as visuals) in a class the other day, and it gave me a desire to round up some of the excellent online resources I’ve recently found concerning typefaces and typography for design (websites and portfolios specifically).

First, you might want to read this “What Font Should I Use?” article on Smashing Magazine to start off on the right foot. If you’re still stuck, you can always try Pentagram’s ‘what type are you?’ interactive quiz. Next, Smashing Magazine has an excellent article about Best Practices of Combining Typefaces. Hoefler & Frere-Jones also has a quick little explanation of four ways to combine typefaces, but it’s also clearly an opportunity for them to advertise their own fonts (which are beautiful and too expensive for me!). It’s important to think about what common fonts there are on Windows and Mac computers if you’re designing a website and aren’t planning to use a service like TypeKit or Google Fonts (I’ve found that I like to stick with basic fonts that I can display on the internet AND use in my portfolio, so it’s a little more consistent). You can easily use TypeKit on your WordPress blog if you’re using one of the compatible themes!

But wait, there’s so much more!
Typography for Lawyers, is indeed intended for lawyers, but has helpful other tips like – don’t underline things unless they are a hyperlink – and it also explains a lot of the basics of typography like – what is kerning, anyway?

How To: Make Your Web Typography Better has eight simple pointers to think about

Type-a-file makes CSS typography easier; creates well-designed style sheets to add to your websites (err, I’m still a little confused about this because I like the idea of what they’re talking about, but I’m really still very much an amateur when it comes to coding and websites, so as helpful as this might be for everyone else, I’m still sort of lost….I don’t even know if I can upload files to my server since I’m not doing any hosting with my domain? Oh well. I’ll figure it out sooner or later!)

And finally, I recently found this list of ONE HUNDRED educational resources about web typography on Smashing Magazine and I haven’t even begun to look through it all yet!

♥ eth

PS. The top photo is a sample from David Carson’s website – he’s a really interesting graphic designer and he was featured in the movie Helvetica, a documentary by Gary Hustwit about typography, graphic design and ‘visual culture’ – looking at how type can infiltrate our daily lives. I would reccomend both Helvetica and Objectified, another movie by Gary Hustwit, to EVERYONE – not just designers – because they do inspect how design affects our daily lives regardless of occupation and interests. Did you know that most road signs, nutritional labels, and maps are created with Helvetica? Amazingly interesting.

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Currently Working On…Alphabet Cards + IDSA Shirts

I’m still working on IDSA shirts when I’m not President anymore?! Not exactly! The current officers are doing a ‘shirt contest’ for this years iDSA shirts and I submitted one design (so far). As I said before, I was working on creating I, D, S and A out of objects and I think the final result is pretty nice.


And some progress on the beginning of the ‘designer tools alphabet cards’. I’ve been steadily researching and writing out different things that make letters (which, to be honest, probably looks like crazy-person-talk if you don’t know what I’m doing because in no way does ‘olfa’ = ‘i’). There’s a printing place near by, Prima, that does cards that are the size I want (something in between 2″x3″ and 4″x6″) but I haven’t talked to them about doing small runs of different images yet. Yesterday I bought myself a rounded corner punch so that I can design the outlines, etc. better.

Here’s my super awesome ‘Ii’ card so far:
That snapped off blade is really clever, right? Right.
More to come! As always!

♥eth

PS. any constructive feedback on either design is very welcome!

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Inspired: Objectified

I’ve started a personal project inspired by this poster for the movie Objectified: A Documentary Film by Gary Hustwit. The poster was designed by Build and I love the way they make letters out of objects (not a fresh idea, per-say, but always a great one when executed well).

*As an aside, if you haven’t seen Objectified, I highly recommend it. It’s a fascinating documentary about – duh – objects. If you’re a designer, it is an easy and interesting way to explain design to your friends/family – and if you’re not a designer, it’s still fascinating because of all the interesting concepts that are brought up (i.e. the relationship of cars to their owners)

I’m working on two different ‘alphabets’ – one made of famous designs (like the Panton chair making an ‘S’), and one set of letters made of tools used to ‘design’ (various tools and crafting objects, etc.). I already have the letters I, D, S, and A done because I put them together for a t-shirt competition for this year’s IDSA @ GT.

Progress will be posted ASAP 🙂

♥eth

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Planetary: Cecil Balmond

‘Earthquakes’ is one of those topics that everyone knows about, but no one really knows that much about it. We’re all familiar with earthquakes, but I doubt that most people know about P waves, PP waves, AND S waves! So how do ‘earthquakes’ relate to design? Cecil Balmond is a “is a world renowned designer, artist, mathematician, thinker and writer” and he challenges traditional theories about underlying mechanisms and design. Instead of relying on a skeleton to strengthen a building during an earthquake, he relishes the fluidity and flexibility of a structure with “overflowing kinetic energy”.

An exhibit earlier this year in Tokyo, Japan featured his work in three different ‘phases’, but all three focus on geometric patterns,and finding rhythms that develop naturally through genetic codes. Besides his ‘flowing kinetic energy’ concept, Balmond also wonders if it is possible to delegate the code that gives life’ to a building, and see if it could grow and flourish from this initial genetic code, instead of having everything about the structure designed from the beginning. Really interesting stuff! There’s a much larger description of the exhibit (and source of my info and pictures) here and more about Cecil Balmond here.

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on being an update of sorts

WOO-HOO! I’m having another hell of a week; still don’t have any means with which to purchase things after a horrible incident in which I accidentally threw my precious, dearly loved Malcolm Fontier wallet at a hobo two weeks ago. I tried to food run at work today which was…and experience. I made eight whole dollars! And then spent half of that on my dinner. However, I am pleased with the progress I’ve accomplished on this kitchen appliance project – I did a ton of research and I feel like I know quite a bit. Now I just need to combine it all into really brilliant concepts for Friday – no big deal 🙂 – we just need “more of everything.”

I’m also really nervous-anxious-excited about IDSA elections because I’m running for president and I’d really like your vote! But seriously, I want to be IDSA president and I think I would do an incredible job because I’m enthusiastic, dedicated, and loud.
[Those aren’t the ONLY reasons I would be a rockin’ IDSA PREZ, just three basic, important ones. More to come via campaign video.]
(Megan worked on our video and she is amazing, in a nutshell. THANK YOU SO MUCH, MEGAN!!!)
The elections are this Friday at 12 so I’m a little on edge until then – not to mention I’m running as a party, with Jes, Sarah, and Randy [Randy doesn’t have a blog, sorry], AND we could technically be elected in part – not as a whole party – so there’s a lot of variables to deal with!

ALSO David’s come up with a wicked idea for us to make $$$ to get to NYC – and I’m super-duper excited [so excited I’m not embarrassed that I just wrote ‘super-duper’]! It’s a little too layered to try and explain in words minus some diagrams and magic, so I’ll just wait a few more days until we have something concrete I can direct you to. In other words, our class is going to go on a majestic trip to NYC and it should be the best experience we have as design students. Ever.
What do I want to get out of a trip to NYC? I want to have the experience of making a plan that’s pretty big-scale, following through, and accomplishing the goal. I also am incredibly excited about seeing the “design scene” in another big city. And bonding with my fellow students, of courseeeee.

AND FINALLY, I feel confident enough to answer that timeless question of “what do you wanna do with that degree when you graduate?” I would like to start my career doing design consulting/strategic design [think unboundary], but also dabble in ‘home decor’ type design [think furniture, lighting, coat racks shaped like antlers, etc.]
I think one of the lucky things about having a career in design is that you can find your niche, and you can always try something new if you don’t like what you’re doing. Sick of graphic design for company letterheads? Switch to lighting! Want to make a vase in your free time? Market that vase while you’re doing design consulting on the side. Ok, so in hindsight maybe I don’t have an answer at all – but I don’t feel bad about it anymore!

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keep trekking

Allison put together a stellar collage of our benchmarking research at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Chris and I were bag models. I feel like we’re making a lot of good process thus far, and some solid design decisions SO I’m just trying not to panic because I’m not really a wearable design designer…
I usually do my ‘wearable’/’soft good’ tinkering on my own time over Christmas breaks – like the shoe and hoodie projects I’ve been known to do. I often do the same thing I’m doing now, which is procrastinate my heart out until I get fed up and knock it all out in a couple of hours without help. We’re heading to the store early tomorrow to get all the little details to start working, so I’m nervous excited for tomorrow to really get going and see how this is going to work [!]

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blame it on the weather man.

This week has been slow and awful. I feel sort of discouraged about design this week because my lack of sketching skills frustrates me instead of inspires me to sketch more. I don’t know what I want to design, and I don’t know how or when I’m really going to get the opportunity to explore all the areas that I think I’m interested in. For instance, I love shoes and I would love to get into shoe design because I think there are a lot of form details about heels and color and texture transitions that haven’t been explored yet, but I know I currently can’t sketch at that level and I also feel like my personal style doesn’t translate or show “Hey, I really dig interesting shoes.” I guess I just don’t feel like my personal design aesthetics are matching up with my projects or my personal style, and it’s causing me a little bit of cognitive dissonance.
Bleggggh. I’m just happy the rain saved me money on getting my car washed.

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“Marilyn Monroe is dead”

I’m brain-blocked.
Digging this stuff I found, tho
1. a shelf system that also doubles as a ladder/step-stool deal
2. & 3. sweet wood and metal bracelets

Materials class kinda got me down today since Leffler started the class by telling us that “when” terrorists strike again, all of us ID kids will need new careers. I talked about it a little with Jes at dinner, but I don’t feel any better. Design is so subjective and so overlooked. It’s frustrating when people try to tell me that all I do is doodle and that my major is silly [or they make it seem that way when the guffaw at projects].
They clearly don’t understand how industrial design impacts the world.
Remember the dust-buster? The easier-to-hold Gatorade bottle? The Studebaker Avanti?
You’re welcome.
So I guess what it means to be a designer is to understand that we are everyday superheroes, and that we do have the ability, power, and responsibility to change the world – but we have to understand that not everyone will appreciate what we do for them, and that our work will often be behind the scenes and almost unaccounted for (but probably remembered years after we’re gone, like some of the great artists).

I know people think they know what it means to have studio, but they don’t.
And I don’t care how many freaking lab classes you take, or what it was like for you in college, or how HARD it is for you to sit on a couch and write papers; what we do is just different.

I still don’t have a ‘direction’, but I feel like I’m finally creeping towards the edge of something more concrete somehow.
I am tired (and apparently whiney).
I want to do a thousand things at once.

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